The Making of a Garden

Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds. – anonymous

Recently I decided that 2019 would be the Year of the Garden for this sweet cottage…

That being said as soon as the rain breaks and frost stops…you will find me outside wandering around the cottage pondering this and that about what to plant and create.🌞

Hello, sweet friends🌷

A quick glimpse of my week

I hope you enjoyed the video…(if you want to view it larger just click on the upper left double arrows of the video)😘

A vintage tea cart for Mr. & Mrs. Bunny🌷

This past week as I looked around the inside of the cottage I realized that things have come together nicely…

Bunny hop…


I feel satisfied (content) with how this sweet cottage continues to evolve…

It’s now time to envision the outdoor spaces of the cottage…garden

The rocks Joe collects from our beach walks create a lovely border for flowers💐

Not exotic garden spaces…just small areas where a beautiful tree…shrubs….

flowering plants can grow…change…living happily together.

In a corner of the garden…a private room for seclusion & rest…

I think happiness is a state of mind…everything here gives me satisfaction. My home…family…garden…animals…and the abundance of nature.


A garden can be anything we make it…and I fancy one filled with herbs…vines…shrubs…trees…and much love.🌷

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MARCIA’S HEALTHY SALAD

A blend of greens for a quick meal




After a day of gardening I was desiring a healthy easy to put together meal. I decided to use up a few items I had on hand. Fortunately I had enough to feed both Joe and myself.😘

INGREDIENTS

Spinach

Variety of other greens…I had a small bag of kale…cabbage…carrots

Cherry tomatoes

Quinoa

2 cups cooked Pasta (I used ziti)

Vinaigrette (whatever you have on hand…I used raspberry)

DIRECTIONS

“This is going to be a delicious lunch”


arrange spinach sparingly



layer other greens…


a few cherry tomatoes…
time for the pasta…



time for the quinoa…


Voila!

Rinse spinach and arrange sparingly on plate…layer other greens…tomatoes…pasta…and quinoa…top with vinaigrette.

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The Coming Of Spring

The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come

and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.

Song of Solomon 2:12

Hello, sweet friends…


Spring is such an amazing time of year…



a time when everything...

from trees and bushes…

flowers…


to the smallest tiniest blades of grass…

Clemantis armandi



Garden vignettes
Amaryllis
Daffy

begin to cover the earth…

Weeping willow


In a matter of weeks we watch as new life blossoms…

from what seems to be dark and bleak…


bringing one of the most beautiful gifts we are given each year…

a sense of hope and renewal.

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Let’s bake cookies!

As some of you know I play the piano at my sweet little church here on the coast…and this past week was super busy! The beginning of Lent is a special time for me…one in which I try to make a deeper commitment in my faith journey. That being said I had a great time celebrating Mardi Gras (bahaha!) and later decided to bake cookies! Below is a recipe I found and I think you will really like it.

Just in case the music stopped…click here for baking music🎹😉

Ritz Carlton Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

O.N.E…….

5 Eggs

1 tsp baking soda

6 cups flour

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups dark brown sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

Joe was taking this video and said ”can I have a chocolate chip?”🍪

4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Joe loves the smell of vanilla…and asked if he could smell it.👩‍🍳

1 tbsp vanilla

5 sticks unsalted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

I have no idea what I’m saying…(perhaps explaining something to Joe😉)

Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla…mix until well blended.

Stir the dry ingredients in (baking soda, salt, & flour) until evenly combined. Add chocolate chips.

We are almost done…

Scoop batter onto baking sheet…2-3 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are golden & centers are almost set

Let cool before eating…if you can😉

Just a few extra things…I actually halved this recipe…wrapped the extra dough & placed it in the freezer…(until later) after all this is the Lenten season…which for me means fasting.😘

Bon Appetit!😘
Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 6 Comments

Postcards From Paris…Hotel Avalon

”Paris is always a good idea”

-Audrey Hepburn

Hello, sweet friend…

Postcards from abroad.

Monet’s Gardens

We have left the fabulous soulful gardens of Monet…(sigh) http://www.marciascottagebythesea.com/postcards-from-paris-monets-gardens/

returning back to the shuttle…

the train station which was very busy…filled with people…and held a wonderful excitement…one which comes when you are traveling…

we got back to Saint Lazare then took a taxi back to our hotel where we rested and packed our luggage for tomorrow’s schedule.

And now…at this point we are having to wind up this wonderful trip…particularly our time in Paris. (waaaaa….pass me a tissue…please)

We enjoyed an afternoon stroll…

sight seeing local landmarks in this arrondesment…

I also wanted to share with Joe a beautiful garden shop I had discovered…

for lunch we enjoyed Chinese food.

Everything on the menu looked so good…we ended up ordering way too much! (of course)

The next day we took a taxi to the Avalon Hotel which was in walking distance to the Gard du Nord…where we would be departing early for the Chunnel back to London.(pass me another tissue…please)

A small glitch would occur upon arriving at the Avalon…Joe had realized that he lost his credit card.

At this point…we felt like veteran travelers…and in the midst of anything and everything knew that all would be well…and we could handle whatever came our way. That being said…Joe cancelled his card…and we resumed our fabulous trip. easy peasy

The Avalon was an unpretentious Hotel…and there was something about it that we both appreciated.

In some ways this last night in Paris was the perfect place to depart from…beautiful yet…imperfect…(sort of like real life)


until next time…

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A perfect day for baking👩‍🍳

This past week I was in the mood for something sweet and didn’t want to run to the store for flour to bake cookies. After checking my cupboards I realized I had everything to bake up my favorite flourless  cookie recipe. I think you will really enjoy this recipe (especially if you love peanut butter & chocolate chips)

Yummy flourless cookies🍪





If you haven’t tried flourless cookies…these are the perfect ones to try. While they aren’t necessarily healthy…they aren’t an all-out splurge either. And…I actually feel better about eating these cookies than regular peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

2. In a mixing bowl, using a large spoon, mix together peanut butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, egg and baking soda until well blended.

3. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Drop dough by the rounded tablespoonfuls (about 1 1/2 Tbsp each) into prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart.

5. Flatten each slightly. Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven 10-12 minutes.

6. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

7. Store cookies in a single layer in an airtight container, they are somewhat delicate so don’t toss them into a bag or they will break apart.

8. Enjoy!

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 2 Comments

Moments of Gratuitious Grace

”How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut…the sound of the sea…All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart.”

-Nikos Kazantzakis


Cooking date with Joe

Hello, dear friend…

Somewhere in the week’s passing moments…

as I was doing nothing particularly special I looked around the cottage and thought how good this day is…

how good it is to be alive...
My SoCal roots-demand pretty flowers
Checking out my She Shed

Content…

if it’s raining…to feel the cozy sound of rain…

Pitter patter of rain


I think about how meaningful & good life can be when I take the time to celebrate ordinary moments.

Taking a stroll
Marina on Presidents’ Day
February’s full moon…known as a Super Snow Moon

Those simple things in life which bring the possibility of the moment…

Joe slicing and dicing



Snapping up as much as I can…

Bluebird of happiness
Stir away Joe!
Ready to bake…

those illuminating moments…

when I feel open to all the rhythms of life…

Voila!


Savoring the desire for awakening…as a hope…a possibility…one which feeds my soul…making contact with an inner life…

Kitchen Art

This, sweet friend, is what makes life precious.💋

A yummy breakfast casserole

HASHBROWN & EGG CASSEROLE

This Hashbrown and egg breakfast casserole is a no- fail breakfast recipe that everyone will love. (Joe and I substitute Italian veggie sausage for regular sausage) To make this casserole just mix everything together and bake!

  1. INGREDIENTS
  2. 12 eggs
  3. 1 cup milk
  4. 1 pound ground saugage (cooked)
  5. 1/2 green/red/orange bell pepper (chopped)
  6. 1 cup broccoli (chopped)
  7. 1/2 onion (diced fine)
  8. 1 tomato (diced)
  9. 16 ounces frozen shredded hash browns
  10. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  11. 1 teaspoon salt
  12. 1/2 teaspoon pepper


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a bowl, beat eggs and milk.
  2. Stir in all other ingredients.
  3. Put in greased 9 x 13 inch pan and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until well set.

Notes

Of course if it makes you happier…😉 You could also use bacon/ham in place of sausage…and serve this topped with salsa & cheese.👩‍🍳

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 4 Comments

💘The Power Of Love💘

”Three things will last forever: Faith, Hope, Love…and the greatest of these is Love”

1 Corinthians 13:13

Hello, dear friends…

Hope all is well with you.

Everything is going great here…tickety-boo💘

MacKenzie

San Bernardino mountains viewed from the Ontario Airport

I recently returned from a trip to Southern California

During moments of unpacking…

coupled with hours of 💤 napping…

along with what I think I am best at doing…(nesting)

A lovely realization came over me…

A heightened awareness…

that we have all been created for greater things…

to love…and to be loved…

A Love without conditions…or expectations…

bringing peace…

helping each other…

on our journey.

Wishing you…

💕 Love 💕

Marcia
Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments